Reviews roundup – Terra Prima vs. Factor Hate vs. Afroman vs. Vandercash vs. Sam & The Womp

918vnahpwql-_sl1419_TERRA PRIMA
Second
independent

Brazilian power metal, eh?  I’ll have some of that.  And it’s Terra Prima, a mere six years on from their debut who’ve come up with their cunningly titled second album. Um, ‘Second’.

Good news is it’s a wee belter of a record.  Of course, Brazil has some form in this department, what with Angra flying the flag for power metal, and this album even has a guest vocal from Fabio Lione, current singer with Angra and Rhapsody of Fire.

One interesting twist is the inclusion of a few Latin / Brazilian rhythms in their music, which certainly adds to the vibe of tunes like “”Fever” and “Last Minute”.  But it’s all about the metal and they’ve certainly got enough riffs and melodies to endear them to a wide audiece.  have a listen to “The Final Act” or the Fabio Lione enhanced “Coming Home” for a taste of what they have to offer.

It’s a really good album, and one that power metal fans should add to their collection.

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r-8303197-1458977747-1565-jpegFACTOR HATE
Scary Tales
independent

Factor Hate sounds like suntan lotion for goths.  But it turns out to be a French heavy metal band who really like eighties metal.  And I’m talking proper metal.  Saxon, Iron Maiden, Accept – that sort of thing.

Which is good because proper metal is where it’s at.  And in places, Factor Hate have got it down pat.  There are a few good riffs dotted about hither and thither especially on “Riding Fast And High” and “Reach to The Sky”.  But the album is overlong and could have done with two or three tracks being culled.  We want quality over quantity.

But when they get it right, it’s a very enjoyable retro ride for those who like that point in time where the NWOBHM was mutating into a more mainstream sound.  Say 84/85.  I’m guessing that it’s a concept album, as the songs are linked with short interludes, so they probably come as far forward as Queensrÿche for their metal roots.

Props to Silver, The Watcher, Sharky, Hubb and Kev (yes Kev) for sticking to what they love.

http://www.factorhate.com/

71a1itr7hkl-_sl1200_AFROMAN
Happy To Be Alive
X-ray Records

Bloody hell!  Is Afroman still a thing?  I’d never heard of him post “Because I Got High” until his recent legal shenanigans when he blamed stress, US Government harassment and unfair debts as his reasons for punching a woman who jumped on stage.

But even though he decided to retire from the stage, he has returned to the studio.  And, sad to say, you have to wonder why.  He wasn’t much of a rapper to begin with and the new material seems to have been overproduced with some modern grime style samples and loops.  You have to wonder if he knows that because the album ends up with rerecorded versions of his old tunes “Palmdale”, “She Won’t Let Me Fuck”, “Crazy Rap!” and, yes, “Because I Got High”.

He’s till banging on about weed and women, hence “Weed Life” and “Humpin”, but without the more innocent nineties vibe of his big hit.

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91hsnpiv0ml-_sl1500_VANDERCASH
Scars & Tattoos
Housemaster Records

Vandercash released their debut album ‘Restless Ghost’ in 2013, but since then the entire band has left bar guitarist and songwriter Donny Eberli.  Luckily, he’s the fellow that writes all the songs, but this is in essence a new band.

And the Swiss rockers have done a decent job.  It’s rock and metal, as there is a certain lack of focus to their style.  So on the one hand you’ll get some power metal, then you’ll get almost roots rock and then they’ll throw in some Rammstein style industrial riffs.

Which makes it a wee bit inconsistent, especially when they also have a yen for a power ballad.  But with a good vocalist in the shape of Antonio Scevola and a handful of good songs, I still have hopes for them.  If they could string together a more few tunes like “Pleased To Meet Me” and “Blood On My Soul” then there’s many a Euro metal festival who would welcome them with open arms.

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51fjv92fs3l-_ss500_ss280SAM & THE WOMP
Fireflies
Womp Records

Remember “Bom Bom”?  That was number 1 that was, back in 2012.  Since then, everything they’ve touched has turned to stone, but that’s not going to stop the europop meets ska duo from having another bash.

And this could do it as it also annoys and entertains in equal measure.  With a big brassy trumpet leading the way and some excellent vocals from Bloom de Wilde, allied to a catchy beat for the kids, then this could be a top summer hit.

Mind you, I’m an old man, so a thumbs up from me will probably kill it outright.  Hopefully, “the kids” will never hear of my approval, download it to their phones and annoy everyone on the bus for the next six weeks.

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